Monday, March 9, 2009

The East Wind Blew and . . .

. . . Lo ! Another 9/11 Memorial

Southeastern New Mexico is well known for its high winds and those high winds do strange things, the worst of which are the terrible and tragic wild fires which destroy thousands of acres of range land, crops and homes.

You've all read of wildfires in California which are far worse than those of this area but occasionally you may read in your newspaper of our fires or hear of them on television.

But this blog is not about the wildfires, it is about the wind and the antics it throws around our neighborhoods every Spring and Summer. The focus here is the United States Flag.

On September 11, 2001, two terrorist-maneuvered airliners flew into New York City and in two separate crashes demolished the World Trade Center, then known by the popular nickname "Twin Towers." Nearly three thousand people were killed in that terror attack,many being New York City firefighters and police.

In the aftermath, rescue workers, firefighters and policemen raised the United States Flag in a mound of concrete and steel rubble against a background of the shattered towers. The pictures of that flag memorial flashed around the world in hours.

Now fast forward to Hobbs, America, a couple years later. Firefighters and police here secured a plot of land on the former Hobbs Army Air Base, center of the country's World War II B-17 bomber pilot training.

The firefighters and police had vowed after the New York disaster to memorialize here their brothers and sisters who died heroically in the fires and collapse of the Twin Towers.

The locals designed and erected, mostly with volunteer help, a memorial featuring a replica of the tilted United State Flag amidst the New York rubble.. The memorial was constructed taking advantage of - you guessed it - the wind - to keep the flag flying straight in the direction of New York.

But that's not the end of the wind story. A day after one of our terrific blows, a neighbor stopped by the house and asked if I might want some help straightening up my flagpole in front of the house.

He said it looked like the wind had pushed if over and I needed to push it back to its erect position. One look at the pole brought out a quick "no" as I realized the flagpole matched the angle of the one at the local firefighter/police 9/11 memorial and the one at Ground Zero in New York City

I like to think the angled flag flying (above) in my front yard is a personal memorial not only to the New York heros but also to Peter A . Gay, a son of longtime lawyer friend Peter B. Gay, back home in Massachusetts , who was a passenger and victim on the first plane which hit the World Trade Center .

- 30 -

Old Newsie

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